When a gun is a gun and not a flower

Hippie puts flower in gun
The photo above must be one of the most iconic images from the hippie, anti-war period.  A youthful anti-Vietnam War protester, faced with a ring of National Guard troops pointing their rifles at him, carefully places a flower in each muzzle.  He thinks, no doubt, that the flowers have magically converted the guns into harmless instruments.  The troops, however, know that their rifles are still rifles.  The only thing that’s preventing them from firing is their inherent decency and, of course, the lack of any order telling them to pull the trigger.  The flower didn’t change anything; it’s the underlying morality that matters.

I thought of this liberal delusion — that guns can magically be transformed into harmless flowers — when Hube brought to my attention the clarity with which Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about the existential threat facing Israel, and about the West’s passivity in the face of this threat:

“The leaders of the Allies knew about the Holocaust in real time,” Netanyahu said at the opening of a permanent exhibit called “Shoah” in Block 27 at the Auschwitz- Birkenau State Museum.

“They understood exactly what was happening in the death camps. They were asked to act, they could have acted, and they did not.

“To us Jews the lesson is clear: We must not be complacent in the face of threats of annihilation. We must not bury our heads in the sand or allow others to do the work for us. We will never be helpless again.”

To stare down the muzzle of a rifle is a remarkably clarifying moment.  Why aren’t we having such clarifying moments in America despite the Islamists’ relentless war against America and Western values?  I think the problem is perfectly summed up by the young man in that photo:  reality-challenged Progressive think that, by pretending the rifle is a flower, it will magically become one.  That’s not how rifles or flowers work.

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  • Robert Arvanitis

    Not quite so simple.
    Rather, it’s like when children or immature adults flounce around in front of the guards at Buckingham Palace. They merely exploit the discipline and self-control of the guards.
    America is lucky to have a military subordinate to the civilian leadership, no matter how hard that is, no matter how corrupt and venal the politicos may be.

  • Spartacus

    “To us Jews the lesson is clear: We must not be complacent in the face of threats of annihilation. We must not bury our heads in the sand or allow others to do the work for us. We will never be helpless again.”
    Now, don’t get me wrong: I like Bibi.  (Seriously, how can you *not* like a guy whose name sounds like a size of buckshot AND the USN hull number prefix meaning, “battleship”?)
    But honestly, while giving speeches about “never again,” he’s been very efficiently and expeditiously sitting on his hands for several years while those Iranian centrifuges keep on spinning their way closer to a Judenrein Middle East.  For the life of me, I can’t see what he’s waiting for.  Barack would rather give a speech on particle physics without a teleprompter than do anything military about Iran.  (Well, *against* Iran, anyway…)  So we can scratch out that reason.  And the UN is going to condemn Israel whether they attack Iran, or hold their fire, or have eggs for breakfast.  So we can scratch out that reason, too.
    I sure hope this speech is a subtle hint of Israeli action coming soon.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Israeli politicians are very adept at supporting Palestinian terror. 500-1000 Pali terrorists released for the bodies of 1-2 dead Jews? That exchange rate is very… indicative of something in the near future.

  • weathtd

    What’s preventing the troops from firing is that the weapons are not loaded.  DOD policy for civil disturbance was to not even issue ammo.   In those instances when ammo was issued, troops were not allowed to insert the mags.

  • Jose

    Loosely related, this gave me a chuckle.


  • jj

    The logistical difficulties of Israel working over Iran’s nuclear facilities are kind of tough.  They’re not going around the block, and they’ll require a couple of pauses for mid-air refueling.  The big trick is: where?  When they turn east after launch, they’ll by necessity cross into either Syrian or Jordanian airspace.  Jordan may be marginally more friendly, but all that really means is that they won’t instantly warn Teheran that the IAF is coming, which Syria would.  So they’ll probably cross Jordan.  Then they’ll be in Iraqi airspace, and eastern Iraq would be the logical place for the tankers to orbit.  Would Iraq permit that?  Got me, it’s kind of an open question, leaning somewhat negative I suspect.  Iraq does not like Iran, but do they dislike them enough to break ranks with their fellow Muslim tribesmen and help out the hated Zionists?  Not to mention invite the sure-to-follow consequences?  I don’t know – and I bet Bibi wonders, too.
    I was – and am – surprised they didn’t do it before Bush left office.  He could have arranged for the Iraqi air defense radars to be down for maintenance, or the operators all out to dinner at once, or something that would render their airspace friendly for refueling.  When we controlled Iraq would have been the time, but – for whatever reason – they didn’t go.  They’ll get no such assistance from the jerk currently in the white house.
    The logistics are the big problem.  i don’t know how, under current conditions, they overcome the refuelling issue.  I imagine they have forty scenarios, but they all have to conquer that same problem.  It’s a big one, and I really do wonder how they plan to overcome it.  It may be that they haven’t done anything about Iran because, quite simply, they can’t.